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5 from 2 votes

Filipino Tamales Recipe

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Chicken
Cuisine: Filipino
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Eduardo Joven -


  • 1/4 kilo chicken fillet
  • 1/8 kilo shrimp peeled and cooked
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 1 small onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth reserved from cooking the chicken
  • 2ΒΌ cups rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon atsuete powder diluted in 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  • 3 pcs hardboiled eggs peeled and quartered
  • salt and pepper to taste

For wrapping Tamales:

  • 10 pieces 8 x 8 inches banana leaves
  • kitchen twine


  • In a saucepan add chicken and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, remove the scum that may float on top. When broth has cleared, season with salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Drain chicken, reserving about 1 cup of the broth. Allow chicken to cool to touch and then flake.
  • In a pan over medium heat, heat oil.
  • Add onions and garlic and cook until softened. Add coconut milk and broth and bring to a gentle boil. Slowly add rice flour, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth and resembling a thick paste.
  • Separate β…” of the mixture into one bowl and the remaining β…“ to another bowl. To β…“ of the mixture, add the dissolved annatto and the peanut butter. Stir until well combined and evenly colored.
  • Wash banana leaves and with a paper towel, wipe down any grit or dirt. Briefly pass through gas flames or soak for a few minutes in hot water until softened and more pliable.
  • Scoop about 2 tablespoons of plain mixture on banana leaf and spread to about 3-inches wide. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the colored mixture onto plain mixture and spread across top. Top with eggs and flaked chicken.
  • Fold banana leaves over tamale mixture to fully enclose. Tie with kitchen twine to secure. Arrange prepared tamales on steamer basket and steam for about 20 to 30 minutes or until cooked. Alternatively, arrange tamales in a pot and add enough water to cover. Over medium heat, boil for about 20 to 30 minutes. Gently remove tamales from heat and let stand for 1 or 2 minutes to set a little. May be served hot or cold.